ts50

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I'm using RPG Maker MV but this should apply to all makers. I'm wanting to change the battle system from a standard DTB where the player can just button mash. Make it more about strategy, skill. I want the player to be more involved. Anyone have any ideas as to how to do this?
 

Johnny_Ray

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Well..i'm not sure this is the right place to ask this question but since this is currently in here i may aswell give you my opinion on the matter.
It's not like you can't have strategy going on even with the DTB system, it's about how you decide to your overall combat (skills, encounters, mechanics,etc.)
 

Jeivalien

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I don't think it’s the Default Battle System that encourages button mashing, it’s about the encounters and mechanics, any battle system no matter how pretty it is can become a button mash fest if there is no depth in enemy variety and player tools.

You can try to do something like FFX and Paper Mario in the way they mess around with weaknesses AND resistances, I'm talking something beyond the common 150% damage taken from fire (which you can also add). You can make some enemies have high defense that can only take damage with piercing attacks or flying enemies that can only be hurt with ranged attacks, as to prevent players from spamming the attack command. You can also have enemies with a natural magic reflector, as to prevent players from just spamming their strongest AoE spell. Or enemies immune to slash damage that can only take damage from blunts attacks, etc.

You can also reward players for hitting weaknesses additionally than just dealing more damage, like stunning the enemy for a turn (like when you hit a skeleton with a blunt weapon in Dark Souls) or reducing its defense (stripping armor from enemies like in some Zelda games). This will make the player feel smart and powerful, which creates fun.

Try to find fun ways to create a puzzle out of your troop encounters, make the player think of an optimal solution to the puzzle and punish them dearly for reckless play (getting counter-attacked, not doing any damage, being inflicted with statuses). Just make sure to communicate these weaknesses and resistances to the player in the clearest way possible and give them the right tools for the job to prevent frustration or a feeling of unfairness.

This applies to any battle system really, of course different battle systems can add their own welcomed layers of complexity to the mix such as turn switching (like in Paper Mario) of agility tricks (like in FFX), etc. But those are just extras, neither of those battle systems would be nearly as fun without their enemy gimmicks-player tools relationships.

Soo… if you wanted me to recommend you a new battle system, I’d say follow you hearts content, just remember puzzle battles are fun.
 

Milennin

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I think I succeeded pretty well with that in my experimental game, RTP. It's pretty small scale, but the aim was to make a simple turn-based combat system where you'd actually have to use your skills thoughtfully instead of just pressing attack until an enemy would die. I'm going to be using it as a template for larger scale game with more skills and more complexity overall.

How to get it done, it's not that hard. You just make the enemies tough enough that it forces the player in using their skills in order to survive or clear encounters in a timely manner. You give enemies attacks the player can't just facetank and shrug off like they're nothing. Give skills to deal with incoming attacks in a variety of ways. Make protection, healing and interruption important mechanics.
Make enemy HP high enough that they don't roll over after being attacked a couple of times. Make skills conditionally powerful, so the player can't just spam them whenever they want, but reward using skills at the correct times with massive damage.
Being so reliant on using skills to quickly and safely clear encounters, make it so skills are available for use every encounter. Make MP regeneration an actual mechanic players make use of every battle so they can restore parts of their MP during battle to keep going.

And as a result, the combat in my game feels very different from pretty much every other RPG Maker game I've played, despite sticking to the default turn-based.
 

LordOfPotatos

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as far as battle systems go CTB/ATB/TBS do offer more depth than default. I think the master list has at least one you can use.

though it's more about making battles deadly than the battle system. if the player feels like they're in danger they'll stop to think, if they don't they'll mash.

a good way is using party composition rules for enemies.
for example making an enemy group that has a tank that can cover allies, a healer that can buff attack and a powerful but slow damage dealer.
the smarter you make the enemies the smarter the player will have to be.
 

FirestormNeos

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Easiest way to avoid players spamming the attack button is to just get rid of the attack button altogether.
Easiest way to avoid players spamming skills/spells is to give skills and spells cooldowns.

The fun way to avoid players spamming any of the above is to make skills/spells combo off eachother, rewarding the player with doing more damage/statuses to the enemy then simply spamming the same move repeatedly.

Combine the fun way with cooldowns, and congratulations, you've made Star Wars: The Old Republic's* combat system turn-based. Which is a good thing, especially if your story is as good as SWTOR's and your game doesn't come with the structural baggage of needing to be paced like an MMORPG.

*=
technically, SWTOR's combat system is practically World of Warcraft's verbatim, but WoW's devs abused their female staff members-- to the point where the sexual harassment drove one woman killing herself --for years, so f**k 'em; the gameplay originates from SWTOR (or some other MMO) for the same reasons why Hatsune Miku created Minecraft.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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It's not the default system that encourages mashing if it's done well. In fact if you want the emphasis to be on strategy, I think the default system would be one of the better ones, because it can require the player to think ahead. I've used the default system in a couple of my games but still managed to require some strategy.

Things you could do:
  • Make turn order be important enough for the player to have to pay attention to it. You could also give the player ways to manipulate the turn order.
  • Reduce max MP, but give players ways to regenerate MP. This would force players to have to think carefully about how and when to spend MP.
  • Make skills that interact with each other. This applies not only to players, but to enemies as well. If the enemies need to set up their skills just like the players, then players who can predict what's about to happen can interrupt them.
  • Make guard worth using. This can be done by adding additional effects such as MP regeneration to guard, or giving enemies telegraphed powerful attacks that would encourage guarding.
 
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This is a pretty broad and open-ended question, you're basically asking for ideas on how to make a game fun. And there are as many ways of doing that as there are games! My recommendation? Play a whole lot of turn-based RPGs and think about why each of their combat systems is (or is not) fun. Practice analyzing each individual mechanic, UI choice, enemy design, numerical value, and so on, until you get good at recognizing why those choices were made the way that they are. Once you can do that, your head will be positively swimming with ideas for building interesting combat systems.
 

freakytapir

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Have telegraphed very high powered attacks even in random battles.
Sure 90 % of the time this Imp just casts fire, but sometimes he starts to charge 'Demon Gate' instead.
You don't kill the imp very fast and auto spam some other enemy to death?
There's his big brother whos just disabled 'Escape'.

That sniper in the back is using 'Laser sight' instead of 'Quick shot' and you just auto attacked the beefy guy in front? Boom. One hit KO next turn unless you counterattack.

Mage casts damage reversal causing physical damage to bounce back tenfold? Woops, you killed yourself.

You get afflicted with 'Doom'? Better be at full health next turn or you die.

Or Mimic enemies. Oh, it's a goblin. Nope, it's the Mimic that looks like a goblin it but is just a tidbit different in his moveset ...

Requiring enemies to be defeated in a specific order: As long as the blood golem lives, the artificer is immortal, but the blood golem is immune to physical damage, but the Artifcer keeps casting reflect if not attacked.

Having linchpin enemies that end the encounter if defeated, but have way more HP. (Debuff, and piledrive that SOB).

Enemies that alternate between 'vulnerable and offensive' and 'defensive and countering'.

Friendly 'enemies' that need to survive. These don't even need to be living things. "Why did you attack the pillar holding up the roof?"

They want to spam attack? They lose.
 

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